... I hear there is talk among the business people of setting up a third party and nominating Hoover. Two things the next President must know—Europe and America, European conditions and American conditions. The President of the United States must be his own Secretary of State. We need administration of our internal affairs and wise guidance economically. Hoover can give these. He has the knowledge and he has the faculty. He has the confidence of Europe and the confidence of America. He is not a Democrat, nor is he a Republican. He voted for Wilson, for Roosevelt, and McKinley. But he is sane, progressive, competent. The women are strong for him and there are fifteen million of them who will vote this year. It would not surprise me to see him nominated on either ticket, and I believe I will vote for him now as against anybody else.
But I must quit talking politics because I am going out of it entirely, completely, and I really have been out of politics ever since I left California. I have tried to take a broad non-partisan view of things which is one of the reasons I have had hard sledding. But I am going without a grouch, without a complaint or a criticism—with a great admiration for Wilson and with a thorough knowledge of his defects; and with a more sympathetic attitude toward my colleagues than any can have who do not know the circumstances as well as I do. ... Cordially yours,
TO ADMIRAL CARY GRAYSON
Washington, January 5, 1920
My dear Admiral,—As you know, I am contemplating resigning. It has been my purpose to wait until such time as the President was well enough to see me and talk the matter over with him. I understand from Mr. Tumulty that the President is prepared to name my successor, and that it would not in any way add to his embarrassment to fill my place in the immediate future. I would like to know if this is the fact, for my course will be shaped accordingly. Two years ago I had an offer of fifty thousand a year which I put aside because I thought it my duty to stay while the war was on. When Mr. McAdoo resigned, this offer was renewed but I then thought that I should await the conclusion of formal peace, which all expected would come soon. While the President was West, I promised that I would take the matter up with him on his return, and since then I have been waiting for his return to strength. I need not tell you that I am delighted to know that he is in such condition now as to turn to matters that in the best of health are vexatious, if this is the fact.
My sole reason for resigning is that I feel that I am entitled to have assurance as to the future of my family and myself. I have been in public life twenty-one years and have less than nothing in the way of private means. ... And having given the better part of my life to the public, I feel that I must now regard the interest of those dependent upon me. I wish you would be perfectly frank with me, for I would do nothing that with your knowledge you would think would make against the welfare of our Chief. Cordially,